Dear readers and customers,

the last weeks was a time of celebration for Internet activists and indie publishers alike: Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, hacker and investigative journalist, finally was freed and could leave into his home country Australia.

Today we would like to share a short video about the man who changed Internet journalism forever:

We are not affiliated with Wikileaks in any way. We are also not very deep into investigative journalism. Nevertheless, we think Julian Assange is and always was important for our Western democracy and journalism in general. Let’s hope we will never see a similar case in the future, as we can’t afford loosing our reputation regarding our freedom and the freedom we protect and are willing to even die for since the end of WWII.

We hope you enjoy the video.

Stay curious,
the aethyx staff

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Rejected!

Dear readers and customers,

bit by bit, our Android apps vanish from the official Google Play store.

It all started September 2023 when our only Android videogame, Zombie Resistor: Apocalypse, was found “not compliant with Google Play Policies” and thus removed. Google mentioned we missed a “Data safety form” – to be honest we had no f***ing clue what the problem really was here.

As our Android web browser, YAABy, was removed in March for the same reason, and Gizmeo Gadget News was forced to leave beginning of April 2024 too, we started digging. And fell into a rabbit hole we think was layed out entirely by the mega-corp Google itself.

We started a test, created an additional a “Google Play store privacy” document from scratch and updated the Gizmeo app first – and were rejected again. Furthermore, we are not allowed to use the “News” section for our app (but Gizmeo does exactly that: it’s weblog about electronic gadgets!) – a section we used since 2014(!) and never had to change. Double rejection – f*** yeah! We then contacted Google Play Store support, explained to them that this is nonsense and didn’t get a reply we could use for good (we can share the documents publicly in case some entity is interested). As our test for one app was not successful, we refused updating the other apps and currently think about releasing all of our Android apps with source codes on our GitLab.

You can vote for this action via our company LinkedIn page currently: https://linkedin.com/company/aethyx.

This is it! That’s summed up how Google Play died for us for distribution.

We had one helluva ride the last ten years. Thanks for all your support and your downloads! We hope you liked it!

Let’s see it from the bright side: the same thing must have happened to the Opera app store. In the later case, we didn’t even receive one Email, we just coincidentally some day couldn’t reach the app page anymore. Sh*t happens!

Yeah, being indie is in fact hard. For the moment, only Amazon is an app store where you can still download our Android apps if you like: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=mobile-apps&rh=p_4%3AAETHYX+MEDIAE+%28Sascha+Schroeder%29&ref=mas_dl. To this day, we don’t understand why on Amazon things work whereas with Google they don’t. We got the problem: we missed a form. But we created one, where rejected and then rejected again for another reason. This is bullshit, sorry folks.

Think twice where you release your apps,
stay positive out there,
the aethyx staff

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productivity

Dear readers and customers,

on the professional network LinkedIn there’s a recent hot topic which we would like to share here as we find this list incredibly useful.

I seems Tesla‘s CEO Elon Musk sent an email to the staff with his 6 rules for productivity. Somehow it leaked. Here they are:

1. Avoid large meetings
Large meetings waste valuable time and energy.
– They discourage debate
– People are more guarded than open
– There’s not enough time for everyone to contribute
Don’t schedule large meetings unless you’re certain they provide value to everyone.

2. Leave a meeting if you’re not contributing
If a meeting doesn’t require your:
– Input
– Value
– Decisions
Your presence is useless.
It’s not rude to leave a meeting.
But it’s rude to waste people’s time.

3. Forget the chain of command
Communicate with colleagues directly.
Not through supervisors or managers.
Fast communicators make fast decisions.
Fast decisions = competitive advantage.

4. Be clear, not clever
Avoid nonsense words and technical jargon.
It slows down communication.
Choose words that are:
– Concise
– To the point
– Easy to understand
Don’t sound smart. Be efficient.

5. Ditch frequent meetings
There’s no better way to waste everyone’s time.
Use meetings to:
– Collaborate
– Attack issues head-on
– Solve urgent problems
But once you resolve the issue, frequent meetings are no longer necessary.
You can resolve most issues without a meeting.
Instead of meetings:
– Send a text
– Send an email
– Communicate on a discord or slack channel
Don’t interrupt your team’s workflow if it’s unnecessary.

6. Use common sense
If a company rule doesn’t:
– Make sense
– Contribute to progress
– Apply to your specific situation
Avoid following the rule with your eyes closed.
Don’t follow rules. Follow principles.

We think this is applicable to any technology company in general, not electric automobile only. Tell us what you think about in the comments here!

We hope you are happily more productive now,
the aethyx staff

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network

Dear readers and customers,

we are doing it.

It may be a slow process and may take a long time. But users are actually bringing the Internet back.

It’s a mighty good feeling!

You know before FAANG we didn’t have a centralised web. It was the Internet’s architecture itself which was built around a highly decentralised approach. What seemed completely chaotic at first was a killer feature for the freedom of information we had in the 90s and early 2000s. Only a tiny bit of it still exists today. Of course it may look outdated (like IRC) but it’s still there. Our new hope mainly lies in the fediverse now. And similar movements driven by individuals for other fields too.

Revolutions don’t happen without cataclysms.

Google wouldn’t have invented a search engine when information on the web would have been findable. Apple wouldn’t have invented the iPhone if mobile phones wouldn’t have been crappy technology. And Netflix wouldn’t have been able to strive when the movie industry wouldn’t have found leverages to take down (mostly illegal) streaming. In the beginning, we could have happily applauded for those big corporations to find solutions to problems existing. What wasn’t so cool though, was the fact that the exact same corporations started building monopolies around their inventions. This led to the state the web is in today: a pityful, centralised, sophisticated designed and gated anti-community of dopamine inducing bubble blobs. Each blob existing with its own millions if not billions of users. Trapped in there like drug addicts not knowing that all they consume is algorithmically provided by a machine they are incapable to understand even a fraction of its inner simple logical working. This is exactly what the Internet didn’t want to be. And it’s the virtual extension of the exact same old world governed by the exact same outdated mechanisms of the 1960s or even before. A mentality not suitable for the future to come. A world not suitable for us to be capable of living in today.

Cataclysms happen all the time.

They are a part of life, part of the universe itself. Sometimes without any mentioning in the big wide media world. The opposite was true when Twitter was converted to X by an eccentric billionaire. Maybe that was the last big cataclysm we were witnessing when thinking about when exactly people took back the Internet a bit more. There were more of course but let’s take this one as the last huge one for the next explosion for the fediverse in 2021/2022. Like the Internet itself, it may be difficult to describe what the fediverse is. Imagine the fediverse bringing social networks back to the people one step at the time. We are collectively smarter today than in 2008. So of course we found out what we like in social networks and what we don’t. People started building up on that.

More connect themselves to those decentralised social networks: the European Union. Blogging platforms like Ghost. The popular Twitter killer Mastodon is introducing third-party-apps for new innovative features. The list goes on as this is only the news flash from the last couple of weeks.

Bit by bit, it looks a bit like the 90s are back. It looks like people understand in the meantime and worship what it means to be part of a truly decentralised network. This is no geek movement anymore, even your neighbour could be an individual Mastodon hoster. And what started once with social networks will spread to other fields: streaming. Retail. Who knows maybe even online search and mobile networks. All it needs is the appropriate code to be released in the wild for anyone to use. And the passion and creativity for people all over the world to build upon it. After all, these are all democratic movements and seeing them winning is seeing democracy winning. A mighty good feeling indeed!

So long and let’s keep on the dreaming,
the aethyx staff

P.S.: for many years, we provide our own social network which is open to anyone here. Join us there in the fediverse and look around, we bet you will find something you like!

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Margie shrinks

Dear readers and customers,

as we move further into the year more news reached us that the shrinking indie industry is a topic we will see more and not less in 2024.

This Monday we got an Email by Dark Horse, one of our most beloved indie comic publishers out there. They’re canceling the Android app by March 25. Although the iOS app will still be developed for the moment, the advise here is to visit their regular website which residies at digital.darkhorse.com. They share a coupon code with us which we want to share too, use it on any checkout you do until April 30 2024, it’s COMICSFAN. It can be used as many times as you like until it expires.

Another news is that Vice Media will stop publishing vice.com. Although a lot of people will see this as “a cleaning process” for the web and its content, we won’t judge but want to remind that especially in the 90s and early 2000s it was impressive what could be done from a new media perspective here. Of course a lot changed there internally and from the outside (investors, ehemm) but this is definitely a story which could have been a huge success to this day. Whatever it was, it’s over now. R.I.P.?

Google Cache is also dead. Okay, you may argue, not very indie indeed. But we used it still to this day and are a bit sad that it vanished. Our times close the open web more and more, even popular websites like reddit do this. Having a cache feature available to see the content even when your Google click sent you to a gated website is not so free and positive thinking after all. R.I.P.

We are sure there will be more to digest the coming weeks and months. These are critical times.

Let’s look ahead.

For example with a Harvard study which stated recently Open Source software adds $8.8 trillion to the global economic power. We live and work in this industry here since almost 25 years now and believe us if we say this is even an understatement. It’s in the nature of open source software that some things are just not trackable. We are proud that it was tried here though. That’s definitely something we can build up upon. Kudos!

Take care and all the best,
your indie open source wizards from AETHYX MEDIAE

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